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courtroom etiquette

If you’re currently in the middle of a custody battle, know that exhibiting the proper courtroom behavior should be high on your list of priorities. How you behave towards the judge, the attorneys, and your adversary could affect the outcome of your case. Here are some tips to remember the next time you find yourself in the courtroom.

1. Abide by the dress code. Wear either a dark suit, a long-sleeved shirt with slacks, or a modest dress with closed toe shoes. You want to look nice and presentable to show the judge that you’re taking this seriously.

2. Refrain from emotional outbursts. This can be challenging, particularly if what is being said about you from the other party happens to be false or exaggerated. However, it is best to keep quiet as an emotional outburst may present a bad impression to the judge.

3. Consult with your attorney if you have any questions. If you have a question, speak with your attorney first. The attorney is the only person, other than the judge, who is allowed to speak at all times during a hearing. They will be able to ask the question for you or ask for clarification, should you need it.

4. Be prepared to answer questions. When asked questions during the hearing, answer them in a direct manner without incorporating any of your opinions or additional statements. While preparing your testimony, ask your attorney for help. They can give you an idea as to what will be asked.

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